Chief Executive Officer
Markita Morris-Louis (Lou-wee), Esq. proudly serves as Chief Executive Officer of Compass Working Capital (“Compass”), a nonprofit financial services organization with a mission to support families with low incomes to build assets and financial capabilities as a pathway to greater economic opportunity, and out of poverty. Under Markita’s leadership, Compass is expanding access to its model for the federal Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, through partnerships with large public housing authorities and multifamily owners, field-building, technical assistance, and policy change. Prior to becoming CEO, Markita served as Compass’ Chief Strategy Officer, where she led the development and implementation of a national strategy for scale and impact.
Prior to Compass, Markita served as Interim Executive Director of the Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia where she brought a data and outcomes-driven framework to the organization’s work connecting Philadelphia’s business and arts communities to grow the region’s creative economy. Markita gained significant financial capability experience while serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Clarifi, a nonprofit housing and financial counseling agency. At Clarifi, Markita led a team of 20 financial and housing counselors serving 15,000 clients annually and built and managed multiple strategic alliances and partnerships, including innovative public-private initiatives focused on integrating financial counseling services into workforce development programs and medical-financial partnerships.
Before Clarifi, Markita spent nearly a dozen years in roles related to real estate law, impact litigation and community development, including several years advocating for fair lending, housing and employment practices and supporting affordable housing transactions.
Markita has served on numerous nonprofit and community-based boards and is currently Chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and is a member of the Brown University Women’s Leadership Council. Since 2018, after being appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Markita has served as Vice Chair of the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board which funds organizations providing free civil legal services to Pennsylvanians. Markita also sits on the Board of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency which provides housing and economic development opportunities for communities with low incomes.
Markita has been featured in local and regional media and has spoken at national conferences on issues ranging from racial disparities in homeownership to social determinants of health. For her service to the Greater Philadelphia community, Markita was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2015 and in 2016 was named a Social Mobility Innovator by the Social Innovations Journal. In 2019 she was honored by Lutheran Settlement House with its Women of Courage Visionary Leader Award for her anti-poverty work.
A proud native of North Philadelphia, raised in subsidized housing, Markita holds degrees from Brown University and New York University School of Law and studied at the University of Natal in Durban, Republic of South Africa. Outside of work, Markita can be found hanging in East Mt. Airy, Philadelphia with her husband and teen sons, at local supermarkets constantly restocking her fridge, obsessing over the Marvel Cinematic Universe and taking West African dance classes, virtually, of course.